Create Easy-To-Reach Storage For Your Next Road Trip With This Closet Staple

Can someone reach for a bottle of water? Where's the charger cable? Who's hidden the snacks?! This probably sounds hauntingly familiar to anyone who's ever taken a road trip. When you're setting off on a journey, the priority is often to get on the road as quickly as possible. Whether we want to avoid rush hour traffic or simply start our vacation ASAP, we all usually end up throwing our essentials in the trunk instead of carefully organizing them, strapping in the kids, and hightailing it out of the driveway.

Thirty minutes later, someone needs (that's right, needs) the trail mix you've buried under four suitcases. Or the iPad has disappeared. Do you pull over or try to persuade everyone that they won't faint from hunger before the next rest stop? Next time you're heading off on a trip, you'll do neither. Instead, before you set off, reach for a closet staple to ensure your essentials are within easy reach. The humble shoe organizer might just become your best friend on your next road trip.

Organize your essentials

TikToker athomewithshannon posted the shoe organizer hack on her account, showing herself hanging the transparent organizer from the back of the front seats. She films herself chopping the organizer in half so that it fits easily and then filling it with a range of items from pens to a drink bottle. As a mom of four, Shannon knows what she's talking about.

Most of us own a shoe organizer, but if not, you can pick them up cheaply online or in the dollar store. Then it's time to fill it. Stick around at the dollar store and add some more goodies to your cart. Run Wild My Child has some great suggestions for things that will slip easily into a shoe organizer: colored pens and sticky notes to draw on, fidget toys, LEGO® and pipe cleaners.

Other essentials you'll want to slip in whether you have kids or not are some snacks, drinks, hand sanitizer (bathrooms on the road aren't always in the best state), tissues or napkins, lip balm, headphones, and a pack of cards. You can also put medication in a shoe organizer if you're sure any kids you're traveling with won't touch it — headache pills and motion sickness tablets are key.

Other ways to get organized on a road trip

If your shoe organizer is full, there are many other ways to make sure things are in easy-to-reach places on a road trip. The center console and pockets in the car doors are obvious places to keep a few items. However, there's never quite enough space, right?

Several bloggers, including Broke Girl Abroad, recommend another household staple: a shower caddy. It's especially useful for holding kids' stuff, can be stuck on the windows if you wish, or can be used as a divider between siblings who just can't keep to their side of the car. Cable organization is another big theme. No one wants their cell to run out of battery on the road. Rochester Local recommends getting a small case or pouch to store your cords, so you won't be detangling a bunch of cables every time you open the glove box. Finally, Jettsetters Travel recommends ways to repurpose a bunch of empty bathroom essentials to keep things organized on a road trip, including cosmetics containers and pill bottles. Here, you can store loose change, hair ties, and myriad other small items that you can then stuff in the center console without worrying about everything rolling around.